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Opinion

Sun., Sept. 26, 2010

Tax measure adds fairness

Our state has the fifth most regressive tax structure in the nation, meaning that those least able to pay carry the heaviest tax burden.

Initiative 1098 would reform our state’s outdated tax system by establishing an income tax on the wealthiest 1.2 percent of households – couples who earn $400,000 or more a year or individuals who earn $200,000 or more. At the same time, I-1098 would cut state property taxes for all Washingtonians by 20 percent and eliminate business and occupation taxes for 81 percent of small businesses.

Our state, which draws most of its revenue from one source, is especially sensitive to recessions. Even a small one can disrupt higher education and health care. I-1098 would generate $2 billion per year dedicated to a trust fund for education and critical health care programs.

The recession has forced cuts of 2,600 education jobs in the last two years, while more than 40,000 have lost basic health coverage. Initiative 1098 will reverse these cuts and help us put our communities back together.

Richard Law

Pullman



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